New research has found that eating more nuts could help improve heart health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease for people with type 2 diabetes.
Nuts, especially tree nuts like walnuts, almonds, and pecans, are full of important minerals, vitamins, fibers, and unsaturated fats which can help with metabolism, blood sugar and blood pressure.
While much is known about the health benefits of tree nuts, researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a study to investigate the impacts of tree nuts on cardiovascular health for people with type 2 diabetes. Those with type 2 diabetes face an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
The study was published in the journal Circulation Research, a journal of the American Heart Association.
The researchers reviewed diet questionnaires that were given to 16,217 people both before and after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The questionnaires were self-reported and asked about consumption of peanuts and tree nuts.
After a follow up on the 16,217 participants, 3,336 had cardiovascular diseases, and 5,682 of the individuals had died.
Eating nuts was associated with some heart benefits but tree nuts but had the strongest link to heart health.
Five servings of nuts per week correlated with a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, a 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, and a 34 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease death compared to eating less than one serving of nuts per month.
What’s more, the researchers found that each additional serving of nuts per week lowered cardiovascular disease risk by three percent and cardiovascular disease death by six percent.
Even after accounting for different demographic factors and influencing habits like smoking or weight, eating nuts had a positive impact on heart health for those with type two diabetes.
“Our findings provide new evidence that supports the recommendation of including nuts in healthy dietary patterns for the prevention of cardiovascular disease complications and premature deaths among individuals with diabetes,” said Gang Liu, the lead author of the study. “It seems never too late to improve diet and lifestyle after diagnosis among individuals with type 2 diabetes.”